Rural Development

Check out the range of Rural Enterprise Skillnet Courses available


Useful Publications From IFA – IFJ & HSA

Guidelines For The Preparation Of A Safety Statement For A Farm

HSA – Farm Safety Risk Assessment Document

HSA – Farm Safety Action Plan – 2013-2015

HSA – Staying Fit For Farming

HSA – Safe Handling of Cattle on Farms Information Sheet

HSA – Only a Giant can Lift a Bull

HSA – Guidance on the Safe Use of Tractors and Machinery on Farms

HSA – Essential Tractor Safety Checks

HSA – Chainsaws Training Advice

Checking Rams 10 Weeks Before Breeding Starts

Checking Rams 2

Copy of Fodder Planning – How to Boost Winter Supplies – IFJ & AIB


Land Mobility and Succession in Ireland-Report

Livestock Systems in Integrated Rural Development

Marty Lenehan Farm Walk – Better Farm Programme – 11th September 2012



Rural Development Context of the M.E.D. Partnership Group          

A healthy Irish agriculture sector is an essential component of any rural development strategy. There are many external pressures currently affecting agriculture in Ireland with the result that small family farm households are decreasing at a rate of 4-5000 per annum. The decline in services due to the resulting depopulation has proved devastating to many rural areas.

The needs and challenges of the citizens of rural Ireland are the same all over – income and isolation. Too little of the former and too much of the latter. Concerned citizens in a community can make a difference. This is where the M.E.D. Partnership Group which is both visionary and innovative can make a positive impact in combating rural decline.

The drive towards urbanization continues at pace. A good example of this is the building industry, which is providing work and accommodation primarily in urban areas. This is being fuelled by tax incentive schemes. On the other hand the decline of agriculture as a percentage of gross national product means that there are less employment opportunities in rural areas.

Ireland has one of the most sparsely populated densities in the EU with a total population of around four million. Almost half of this total live in the Dublin area and in the three counties that surround it. Over two hundred years ago there were eight million people living in Ireland and less than half a million living in Dublin. It is ironic therefore that today as we try to preserve the environment as it used to be, we are also trying to coerce people to leave rural areas and live in the towns and cities.

People must be kept in the rural areas to manage and maintain the environment. Services must be improved on a continuous basis, as otherwise rural dwellers will become even more socially excluded. A good public transport system is essential in urban areas. The social aspect of this urban rural interaction cannot be over emphasized. The disparity between what the media say and the reality for people living in rural areas has led to a generation of unnecessary urban/rural tensions.

Another area of concern for rural citizens is the threat to close rural post offices. At a time when the world is becoming smaller through state of the art information technology it is ironic that elderly people living alone in rural areas are becoming more socially excluded.

In conclusion, the challenge for a rural development policy is to improve the balance of economic opportunity and social conditions between urban and rural communities using a range of mechanisms whilst safeguarding the rural heritage and protecting the environment. If rural communities and especially people leaving agriculture can be integrated into the wider community without geographic displacement the central goals of rural development will be achieved.